Read With Us Wednesday: Obituary Society

Read with UsWednesday So, Essie and I both spaced out yesterday’s post! Oops! I blame recovering from Christmas break.

It was fun to wrap up The Obituary Society, and this gem of a book did not disappoint. I am always a fan of quirky family dynamics.

What I most enjoyed though, was the mood evoked by this book. The one thing I would add to our Mid-Century Modern Rambler would be a front porch for sitting.

After bringing out the tea, they sat on the wooden steps, Juniper leaning into Max’s right arm, Lila resting her head on his left shoulder.  Lila sighed as she sipped her hot tea, thinking how little she cared about what other girls her age were doing, and imagining many years of front porches and steaming tea and club meetings with miniature cakes.  And if a hint of Old Spice mingled with cinnamon wafted past her nose, she pretended not to notice.
And now that you have finished reading with us. . .head over to the authors Pinterest board to check out some of her inspiration (and find the recipe for Maid of Honor Cupcakes! ( I think I have a new assignment for the resident baker of the house!)
Did you miss out on this book? Want to read through the next book with us? Starting next Wednesday we will be discussing  Moms’ Night Out. I loved the movie so much that I had to own it on Blu Ray–and I watch it about once a week, still laughing and crying. I look forward to laughing and crying through the book with you guys.
This book should be available at your local library, though I picked up mine at Amazon (I’m the queen of the late fee–cheaper to buy up front!) We will be discussing Chapters 1-4 on Wednesday!

Meal Planning for Sanity, Health, and Savings


Meal Planning Made Simple

I am a huge advocate for meal planning. I am not always the most consistent meal planner, but when I do plan ahead, we eat better and spend less.

For several years now I have been a happy subscriber to eMeals. Some weeks I follow the meal plans to the letter. Other weeks I look to the plan for inspiration or to get out of a rut. I am currently subscribed to the eMeals Clean Eating Meal Plans, and while I have been happy with the meals, they have not been as much of a hit with the younger members of the family.

It is easy enough to switch plans, and I will likely switch back to either the Classic meal plan or I may try out the brand new Budget Friendly plan!

Some of the benefits of meal planning are:

  • Meal Planning saves Money: Not only does planning meals in advance give the opportunity to shop sales. meal planning takes the guesswork out of “What’s for dinner?” and avoids last minute (and expensive) take-out.
  • Meal planning encourages variety: If I am left to my own devices, I will make the same four meals week after week after week. This will be a great thing for my child who ONLY likes chili, however, everyone else begins to grumble about dinner.
  • Meal planning encourages teamwork: If I plan meals in advance, I can assign cooking tasks to family members much more easily. Rather than just ask my husband or a teen to prepare dinner, I can ask them to cook and give them the step by step instructions and guarantee that all of the needed ingredients are on hand!

I like taking the weekly plans from eMeals and then weave in our family favorites. There is usually at least one meal planned a week that just does not suit our family palate, and it is easy for me to sub in  a family favorite. If you take advantage of the eMeals iOS app there is even a new functionality that allows you to switch meals between menus.

Chime in! Do you meal plan? What is your favorite tool to make it easier? What meal is your go-to  for meal planning?

Healthy Meal Plans to Match your Active Lifestyle

New Year, New Reading Goals!

I am horrible at resolutions. They are just not my thing.

However, I love goals. When I rejoined the working world I learned to refine my goal setting with making  S.M.A.R.T. goals. This acronym stands for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

While I should be setting some goals in the realm of health and fitness; I’m starting the year with some more attainable goals: reading goals.

I like a good challenge, and Goodreads emailed me to set my reading goals this year, inviting me to take part in the 2015 reading challenge. I would love to think that I would read 200 books in a year, like some of my friends,.–but unless that includes reading Llama Llama Red Pajama out loud 200 times this year, I’m afraid that goal would not be attainable.

Something I love even more than SMART goals is a well-crafted checklist. So when I came across this Facebook Reading Challenge, with a handy-dandy checklist, I was able to truly begin setting my reading goals for the year.

2015 Reading Challenge

I started with an easy book– “A book you can finish in a day”. I had just picked up The Color of Ordinary Timelast week, and took advantage of a quiet Sunday afternoon to devour it. It was an enjoyable read. I am currently working on “A book with more than 500 pages” by reading/listening to The Signature of All Things: A Novel. As a busy mom, I totally say that audio books count! (especially for the longer books!)

If you are the proud owner of a library card, may I introduce you to one of my favorite apps? I use Overdrive to check out eBooks and audiobooks from my local public library. You can check out books for up to 21 days and then they are automatically “returned”–so no late fees!

Some of the other books I am planning to devour read this year are:

That is a pretty good start for now! I have plenty on my to-read list! Join me over at Goodreads and we can keep up with our reading goals!

 

Chime in! What are your reading goals for 2015. What books do you look forward to reading?

Working Mom Realities: Days Off

Take time Back when I was a stay at home mom, I had busy days, and days when I had a lot less structure to my days. When I went back to work, the first year was HARD. All of a sudden, I lost all of my discretionary time. Plus, when I was home, I felt guilty if I did anything other than spend time with the kids or clean the house.

Now I’ve been at my job for over a year and a half. I know the ropes, we’ve renegotiated some of the household duties, and the kids have gotten just a little bit older and more independent.

I also battled with a serious bout of loneliness. Since then, I’ve learned to take some more time out for myself, and things that I enjoy, even if it does still make me feel guilty and more than a little self centered. But, I’m a better mom (and a better fundraiser) for it.

So today, on the last day of the year, I’m sitting, in my pajamas, with a big carafe of coffee by my side.  I am doing one of the things I love best. . .writing. I’m likely to get a month of blog posts written today (I’d not want to overwhelm you all at once!)

There is plenty I could be doing. There are always dishes to wash and laundry to fold. There is meal planning to do and decluttering to begin. But for today, for this morning, it is coffee and writing. I don’t get many days like this anymore; so I will revel in the background noise of a pair of fours counting down to a fifth birthday, the snoring of four tweens and teens, and the hum of the washing machine that I did take the time to load. and I will type to my heart’s content.

Chime in! What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?

Working Mom Christmas Survival List

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If I could send a care package to every working mom for this time of year, this is what would be in it. Maybe Santa will slip one (or more) of these into your stocking! This list was inspired by Man Crates. This is what I would want in my very own (pretty) gift package!

It Cosmetics – Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Waterproof Concealer

 Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Waterproof Concealer

This stuff covers up every sleepless night! I first tried this amazing product with my Ipsy subscription, and now I won’t go without it!

 

It Cosmetics – Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Waterproof Concealer, Deep – $14.99, 5.48 shipping – Available at Fullfillment By Amazon

 

Dunkin Donuts – Original Blend Ground Coffee Resealable Bag (Case of 4)

Dunkin Donuts - Original Blend Ground Coffee Resealable Bag (Case of 4)

Coffee. . .of course. And yes, I run on Dunkin’.

 

Dunkin Donuts – Original Blend Ground Coffee Resealable Bag (Case of 4) – $21.10, 6.51 shipping – Available at Amazon.com

 

Collection XIIX – Mirror Trim Infinity Scarf

Collection XIIX - Mirror Trim Infinity Scarf

A pretty scarf to hide coffee spills and dress up a plain Jane top.

 

 

Collection XIIX – Mirror Trim Infinity Scarf – $10.85, 5.48 shipping – Available at Amazon.com

(1 reviews)

 

Neutrogena – Norwegian Formula Hand Cream Original — 2 oz

Neutrogena - Norwegian Formula Hand Cream Original -- 2 oz

This little tube of hand lotion has been a purse staple for me since middle school. It works great on chapped toddler cheeks as well.

 

Neutrogena – Norwegian Formula Hand Cream Original — 2 oz – $9.12, 5.01 shipping – Available at Fullfillment By Amazon

(9 reviews)

 

Logitech – Ultrathin Keyboard Mini (Wireless – Bluetooth – White – Tablet – Membrane)

Logitech - Ultrathin Keyboard Mini (Wireless - Bluetooth - White - Tablet - Membrane)

This handy little keyboard can help make your work more portable–and your typing more accurate!

 

Logitech – Ultrathin Keyboard Mini (Wireless – Bluetooth – White – Tablet – Membrane) – $46.95 (50% off), Free shipping – Available at Amazon.com

 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links provided by Postpresso.

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